The Great Yorkshire Run and Knee Injuries

Thousands took to the streets of Sheffield on Sunday as the Great Yorkshire Run got underway, with professional athletes, celebrities and fun runners all lining up at the start line for the 10K event. The event itself has now been running since 2007 and this year saw a fantastic turn out of almost 10,000 people who have trained hard to be ready.

Celebrities for the event included Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom in the Harry Potter Films), Tony Audenshaw (Bob Hope from Emmerdale) and Chris Chittel (Eric Pollard from Emmerdale) to name but a few.

While many eyes would have been on Berlin where Wilson Kipsang broke the world record for the fastest marathon in 02:03:23, there were plenty of elite professionals in Yorkshire to take on the 10K challenge. Ryan Mcleod, the 2013 Great North 10K winner who also represented GB in the 2011 World XC Championships was competing, as was two time Great Yorkshire Run winner Gemma Steel.

Both Mcleod and Steel took the respective gold medals, with Mcleod taking 29:40 to complete the course and Steel 32:20 which also gave her a third successive win with a course record time. Of course, the main aim of the event is in raising money for charities, with the fun runners in their thousands raising money for their own respective charities.

Running Injuries

Both professional runners and amateurs will have had to endure the same course and the same risks. As with any sport, running injuries can affect the best of us and knowing what to look out for and how to manage these conditions can give you the best possible chance of a full recovery and being able to make it to the starting line of a race.

Running injuries vary dramatically in terms of their severity depending on the extent of the damage caused and where on the body the injury takes place. Running impacts greatly on the lower joints, if you consider the distance you run and your whole body weight hitting the concrete with each step with only your trainers (and cartilage) to cushion the impact. In the long run, runners can experience a multitude of complaints, with knee injuries one of the most common.

In general running injuries will typically involve the lower body and be divided between joint complaints and muscle complaints. Typically, the majority of injuries are as a result of overuse, whereby a person pushes themselves too much or stretches too much. Joint conditions can however be as a result of a degenerative condition such as osteoarthritis of the knee or be as simple as slipping and twisting your ankle.

The list of running injuries can be fairly extensive, ranging from a sprained ankle to ankle ligament damage to calf strains, twisted knees, hamstring complaints and the list goes on. In this article we will focus on the different types of knee injuries which can be sustained from running.

Knee Injuries

There are a range of knee injuries which can result from running, each with their own levels of severity from a pain and recovery perspective.

A simple strain typically occurs as a result of overdoing your training, or perhaps if you land awkwardly from a jump or slip during running. When you feel a slight pain in the knee then it could mean that you have stretched the tissues in the joint, though have not permanently damaged them. Whilst it may be painful at first, simply resting for a few days and applying ice to the affected area should help in your recovery.

Tendonitis is one of the less common knee injuries but also occurs as a result of overuse. The tendonitis affects the tendon connecting the knee cap with the shin bone and can be referred to as jumper’s knee. The patella region, or knee cap, can become inflamed and swollen as a result and requires rest and ice to manage the inflammation.

Osteoarthritis of the knee is one of the more serious knee injuries which can be encountered. The condition is degenerative as it involves the gradual breakdown of cartilage within the knee joint, causing bone on bone contact. It is this bone on bone contact which causes pain and hinders mobility. As knee injuries go there is little to prevent against osteoarthritis of the knee, though early diagnosis helps in being able to manage the condition and maintain your lifestyle. Unlike some other knee injuries whereby pain and discomfort are only felt through an activity, osteoarthritis of the knee can cause pain and discomfort when stationary and even during simple tasks like getting out of a chair.

The sport you undertake can also influence the type of injury sustained. 40% of ACL (Anterior cruciate Ligament) knee injuries occur as a result of high impact sports such as snowboarding and motocross, though equally can occur as a result of a bad fall or twist. The ACL is responsible for stabilising the knee giving you support during movement, without which running would be very difficult.

Running injuries are just as likely as injuries in any other sport, with an increased risk should you fail to warm up before and cool down after exercise. Knee injuries are a major focus from a mobility perspective and can happen as a result of running or even during everyday activities. In the event of any injury it is important that you rest and should the conditions fail to subside within a few days seek a professional diagnosis.

The type of rehabilitation offered ultimately depends on the type of injury sustained. The more serious knee injuries discussed will require physiotherapy or surgery, whilst the minor will require rest and gentle exercise.

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